30 May 2024

Hornsea Viaduct mural ‘would be an interesting social experiment’

By Rebecca Hannant

Let’s Go Hornsea has launched a project to survey the opinions of residents on plans to create a mural under the Hornsea Viaduct with the help of local youngsters.

According to East Riding Council’s new Commonplace website, an interactive platform that allows people to share ideas to boost their local area, Hornsea Viaduct is “a key historical feature” that runs underneath the Trans Pennine Trail. “Acting as a blank canvas, it has the potential to become a showcase of amazing artwork.”

In recent years, the underpass, which leads to the Hornsea Burton estate, has been subject to vandalism and graffiti. However, the site has also been the focus of volunteer action from local groups such as CLiPS and HUG (Hornsea Urban Gardens) who have worked in the area for the past four years tidying, painting and maintaining the site.

CLiPS has also created nearby educational gardens despite poor terrain, railway clinker and vandalism. The group also created a stone creature to be placed outside the viaduct. It too was destroyed by vandals, and has since been replaced.

Let’s Go Hornsea plans to create a mural that will be designed and created by local children and young people, and the survey asks members of the community to comment on the idea, and say how they think the project should be carried out.

The majority of responses on the Commonplace website are positive, but previous incidents of vandalism have left others concerned about the lasting impact of the mural.

A spokesman from CLiPS said: “As far as a proposed mural is concerned, anything that brightens this area would be welcome.

“But, historically, because the inside of the bridge is a secluded area it has inevitably attracted antisocial behaviour at all hours, not just after dark. “This would be an interesting social experiment to see if it increases or reduces the less desirable behaviour. We will see what happens.”

Cllr June Greensmith, founder of HUG, said: “If we let the negatives stop us from trying new things, we would never get anything done or changed.

“HUG has always worked on the premise that we see how it work. If it doesn’t work, we change what we are doing. I constantly hear it’s the kids that are vandalising – in my experience it’s been adults who have stolen plants, messed up information boards and don’t pick up after the dog.

“Let’s give the Hornsea teenagers something they can take ownership of. This project should be supported, with Hornsea graffiti artists asked to get involved.

“In 2019, HUG cleared the viaduct top, painted the railings and the walls white. A young lad came along as we were working, and said, ‘Thank you.’ He was meeting his pals and he messaged them to say the bridge was being painted. They all came over to look. Kids need to feel they belong as well.”

To have your say, visit: eastyorkshirecoast.commonplace.is.